Agenda Newsletter - July 23, 2007

Mini-opus proves prescient
Little Flags

Untitled Document

Jem Cohen; Play it
Today, this six-minute opus—a lower-Manhattan military parade shot by Jem Cohen in the early nineties and edited together, complete with remixed Fugazi score, in 2000—is almost unbearably disturbing. From the errant bits of paper drifting through the air, to the matching “Fuck Saddam” T-shirts, to the young woman sitting on the ground, seemingly overwhelmed, the short says more about our desperate times than pretty much any other recent narrative or documentary. (Cohen appears at the IFC tomorrow.)

Hoopster tells it like it is
Too Much Rod Benson   The NBA Development League is pro basketball’s Netherlands, and Benson is our man in Bismarck. The congenial Dakota Wizards forward reports on various inanities: the “no homo” phenomenon (coach asks, “Can’t we get any balls inside?”), nutcase foreign teammates, and how rotund Golden State Warrior’s coach Don Nelson is really a lot like Jessica Biel. Benson just finished a stint with the Vegas summer league’s Memphis Grizzlies with the likes of, uh, Scooter McFadgon; stay tuned for the wrap-up. Rod Benson

Get a taste of old-Village Utopia
The Greenwich Village Follies
  Gay power, dildos, drugs, unsightly body hair: This romp through Greenwich Village’s colorful history embodies the utopian glee that has, of late, been giving way to merely fashionable, megabuck living. Composer Doug Silver’s sarcastic parodies and ribald sing-alongs are catchy; the cast of four is capable of both hilariously bad New York accents and stoner impersonations. Highlight: The drag queens’ high-octane rendition of 1969’s Stonewall fight song: “We have no underwear / We show our pubic hair.” Manhattan Theater Source
July 28
Tickets  »      

You’re waiting on The Little Mermaid?
Grey Gardens
  Fans of the Mayles-brothers documentary on the gloriously eccentric Long Island Beale sisters were surprised the musical made it to Broadway at all. Now its two leading ladies, Mary Louise Wilson and Christine Ebersole, are Tony winners. But after this week, the cat ladies and their revolutionary costumes will be gone forever, and so will Doug Wright’s snappy book for the show. His next musical? The Little Mermaid. We’ve nothing against Disney, but still: See the man’s work now. Walter Kerr Theatre
Closes July 29 $36.25–
Tickets  »      

Critic tours mid-century Europe
Inner Workings: Literary Essays 2000–2005   J.M. Coetzee’s literary tastes are decidedly Eurocentric and mid-century: His latest book of criticism includes appreciations of dead white guys like Bruno Schultz and Robert Walser. Those unfamiliar with such difficult writers shouldn’t be put off, though. Coetzee writes clear, focused prose and avoids academic abstractions and navel-gazing. But his work does have a multilayered quality that, to borrow a simile from another of his subjects, Günter Grass, makes reading it rather like peeling the skin of a ripe onion. J.M. Coetzee
Buy it  »      

Big-deal storyteller scales down
David Gonzalez
  Poet, playwright, and jazz guitarist David Gonzalez creates big multimedia events—his Frog Bride at the New Victory earned him an ‘06 Drama Desk nomination—but nearly as exciting are his solo storytelling shows, where he offers a kind of super-physical Latin bebop with lots of Spanish and rhythmic repetition. Tomorrow morning he’s performing Cuentos: Tales of the Latino World, a set of creation myths from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and what he calls “La Republica of ‘da Bronx.” Poe Park
July 24
10 a.m.
More info  »        

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July 23, 2007

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Agenda Newsletter - July 23, 2007